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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
We all have our fears. There are times when we’re too frightened to try. But, with courage, we may try and then we feel good afterward, realizing that the greater fear is really the fear of not trying at all. Ramone is a baby ruby-throated hummingbird. It’s time for Ramone to leave the nest, to learn how to fly and find his own food. But he’s afraid. He doesn’t believe in himself and he’s afraid he might fall. His mother perches on a branch nearby, waiting for her son to gain enough courage to try, praising him when he does. It’s a good feeling to try, even when we’re afraid.
Hillary Daecher’s picture book story, Soar, is a delightful tale about a baby hummingbird. Told in rhyming verse, the plot follows Ramone’s fears and his insistence on waiting yet another day before trying to fly. He argues with himself and comes to terms with his fears, something we all must do from time to time. Ramone learns it’s important to at least try, even when our fears flood our minds and threaten our courage. The illustrations are sensational: beautiful and colorful. At the end of the book is a short glossary where the author lists some interesting facts about hummingbirds and provides the reader with some questions to challenge what they learned from the book. Soar is a great story that teaches youngsters about hummingbirds, but also about the importance of trying to overcome our fears. The title exemplifies Ramone’s feelings once he tries to overcome his fears; the lilting tone of the rhyming verse makes the reader feel like soaring, too. A simple story but with an important message.